Stop Blunkett deportation of SA friend

Alan Fatullah, an Iraqi Kurdish refugee in Britain and a communist militant, has appealed for the support of the British working class movement against the threat of deportation. He fears for his life if he is forced to return to Iraq. Comrade Fatullah is 23 years old and is a member of the Worker-communist Party Iraq. He came to Britain in 1999, settling in Manchester. He has been active in the WCPI's work in opposing the US-UK bombing and the United Nations-administered sanctions against the people of Iraq. Alan's internationalist outlook has impressed many British socialists and communists in Manchester and it is to his credit that he has not hesitated to throw himself into work alongside comrades of the Socialist Alliance and its affiliated organisations and with the Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq. Alan is from Erbil, in the Kurdish autonomous area of the north of Iraq. He is from a political family. His father is a long-term activist of the Communist Party of Iraq, who was detained and tortured in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison between 1984 and 1986. One of his brothers is a WCPI member and Alan himself was an active supporter of the latter organisation whilst in Iraq, carrying out political work, mainly in the student movement. Alan was twice detained by the Kurdish nationalist authorities. In March 1996, he and his brother were arrested after islamists attacked a meeting organised by the WCPI in celebration of International Women's Day. He was held for four days, during which he was beaten, and was only released upon signing an undertaking to cease political activity. In April 1998, Alan was arrested again when armed security personnel of the KDP, which by that time had taken control of Erbil, broke up a meeting he had helped organise to set up an independent student union. He was again held for four days and was repeatedly beaten during interrogation. He had to sign a declaration that he would cease work on the student newspaper he edited and desist from "inciting students to oppose the authorities". His family had to pay a fine of 8,000 Iraqi dinars in order to secure release. In 1998, the islamist IMIK, led by mullah Bashir, declared a fatwa against communists and has since carried out a large number of assassinations. After he participated in protests against the IMIK's blowing up of a shop in Erbil, also in April 1998, Alan found a letter from islamist students pinned to his desk, warning him of "serious consequences". In June, a shop belonging to one of his brothers, which sold women's clothing, was destroyed in a similar attack. The KDP authorities did nothing to investigate the incident. Whilst he was working with his brother on rebuilding the shop, Alan was threatened that he would be killed by three armed islamists. He left Erbil soon after this incident and moved into Turkey illegally. After working there for 11 months to raise money, he made his way to Britain, via Italy, concealed in lorries. Alan's asylum application was refused, after lengthy delay, in January 2002 and this refusal was upheld by an immigration adjudicator in September. The immigration authorities have decided that Alan does not have a well-founded fear of persecution should he be returned to the Kurdish autonomous area of Iraq. Permission to appeal was refused and Alan's solicitors are currently contesting that refusal. Comrade Fatullah has asked for letters to be sent to the home office, protesting at the deportation threat against him. His case number is F1010450 and letters should be sent to: David Blunkett MP, home secretary, home office, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AT. Resolutions of support from Socialist Alliance branches and union organisations would also be very welcome. John Pearson